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Friends and Family Commemorate Hrant Dink

Bawer ÇAKIR
BIANET

Journalist Aydin spoke about the hope which Dink, as a socialist Armenian, inspired in others. Dalkıran summarised the events of the murder trial so far.
On Saturday, 17 January, the Nor Zantonk organisation held a commemorative event for Hrant Dink, the Armenian-Turkish journalist who was murdered on 19 January, exactly two years ago.

Hrant Dink, editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish Agos newspaper, was shot down in front of his office. A young hitman turned out to be only the facade to a much larger organisation. Security forces in Istanbul and Trabzon, where the hitman came from, have been implicated in covering up warnings of a planned murder.
More recently, his murder has been connected to the illegal ultra-nationalist Ergenekon organisation. Some argue that his and other murders were engineered purposely in order to create havoc in the country.
The commemorative event, one of many, took place in a Tobacco Depot in Tophane, Istanbul. Around 300 people attended. Among them were Dink’s widow Rakel Dink and their son Arat Dink.

“A courageous journalist”

Özlem Dalkıran, a founding member of Amnesty International Turkey and human rights activist, spoke about developments in the murder trial. Then journalist Aydin Engin spoke about Hrant Dink’s life, emphasising Dink’s Armenian and socialist identity:
“In this country, it is difficult to be Armenian or a journalist. It is also difficult to be a good and brave citizen, and also to be a revolutionary socialist. Hrant was an Armenian who clashed with his own ethnic community; he was a courageous journalist. He was courageous enough to say in France that there was no Armenian genocide. He was a revolutionary.”

His murder is being re-enacted

Another speaker, Sırrı Emrah Üçer, pointed out that the murder of Hrant was being re-enacted every day through certain statements and articles. He was murdered again with all the things that still could not be written.
Finally, speaker Kerem Demirbaş presented a computer game he had created. It is inspired by Dink and is called “Huys” (meaning hope in Armenian).
The audience were also presented with an interview that Dink did on Yaşam Radio, as well as a documentary prepared by the Nor Zantonk organisation, called “My name”.

Exhibitions

Painter Ülker Ün, who was exhibiting her pictures at the Tobacco Depot, presented Rakel Dink with an oil painting dedicated to Dink.
The depot was hosting another exhibition in honour of the 100th birthday of Armenian writer William Saroyan. Saroyan’s family migrated to the USA before he was born. They came from Bitlis, in eastern Turkey. He became a well-known dramatist and author in the USA, where he died in 1981.

On Monday, 19 January, friends of Hrant Dink will gather in front of the Agos newspaper building in Şişli between 2.30 and 3.30 pm. (BÇ/AG)